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Airport protocol concern: FAAN needs Minister’s backing — Expert



The Assistant Secretary-General, Aviation Round Table (ART) Mr Olumide Ohunayo has urged the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development to back the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in its efforts to restore equity at the airports.

Ohunayo said this in an interview with journalists on Monday, in Lagos. He was speaking against the backdrop of concerns raised by the Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, on the proliferation of protocol services by personnel of various agencies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The MD had said that this should be stopped immediately as it contravened the Executive Order 001 of 2017 of the Federal Government.

She said it also undermined protocol activities of FAAN Protocol Unit and that of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Kuku stressed that the MFA had the sole responsibility of attending to designated government officials and urged agencies to liaise with them when they need to facilitate their Principals/Officials.

The MD said that the Passenger Support Service (PSS) of FAAN handled corporate organisations, as the services were being paid for.

Reacting, Ohunayo said that the Minister, Mr Fetus Keyamo, should back Kuku, by passing the information to his fellow ministers.

He said that all agencies should be asked to revert to status quo, but this should start with the withdrawal of all On-Duty-Cards (ODC), to ensure equity at the airports.

“The FAAN MD has made her position known but she needs the power and backing of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

“The minister can pass the information to other ministers in the Federal Executive Council (FEC); thereafter, call back those ODCs from all agencies.

“Every passenger must respect protocols at the airport; until after you cross the immigration desk, you must follow the process no matter who you are. “Yet, people at the foot of the aircraft begin to say they are VIPs, so that they can override the protocols.

“The way to go is to first, withdraw all ODCs from all ministries, and then ask to revert to status quo,” he said.

Ohunayo said that, although, the ODC were issued by FAAN, they could still be stopped at the different counters at the international airports.

He said that FAAN should approach higher authorities in the quest to improve the situation at the airports, because there were too many facilitators and delayed flights scenarios, which should not be.


Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF



Aviation is set to be part of key economic drivers that will benefit from President Bola Tinubu’s proposed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the fund targets strategic sectors like agriculture, transportation, ports,  energy, healthcare, and education along with aviation.

The initiative plans to inject funds into vital national projects to foster growth, bolster local value addition, generate jobs, and spur innovation.

Efficient use of low-interest loans and financing options will secure advantageous arrangements for project financing and operation.

The focus on aviation enhancement involves modernising major airports nationwide with targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades.

The statement reads, “On aviation enhancement, the focus is on the revitalization and modernization of major airports nationwide. Through targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades, major airports will undergo comprehensive refurbishment, including improvement in terminal facilities, runway expansions, and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety and operational efficiency.”

For agricultural infrastructure, the focus includes developing robust networks like storage facilities and irrigation systems.

In port revitalisation, the goal is to modernise facilities and attract investments to enhance Nigeria’s regional trade hub status.

“By modernizing port facilities and implementing advanced monitoring systems, the goal is to optimize efficiency, attract investments, and bolster Nigeria’s position as a regional trade hub,” the statement read.

Key road projects like Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road aim to enhance connectivity and stimulate economic growth.

Rail projects like Lagos-Kano and Eastern lines will modernise transportation networks for speed and reliability.

President Tinubu’s approval of the RHIDF absorbs the PIDF, expediting project delivery for Nigerians’ benefit.

Projects funded under the RHIDF will have a national spread, reflecting the commitment to equitable development.

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ICAO Aviation security audit team debriefs Nigeria, indicates strong outing



The Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after its Audit.

Nigeria recently concluded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Security Audit Programme the continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) according to a statement emanating from Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The event held at NCAA Headquarters saw Vine praise Nigeria’s robust policies and agencies, acknowledging their speed in addressing identified deficiencies without complaints.

He mentioned that the full audit report would be available within 60 days, followed by a 30-day period for comments.

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, affirmed using the audit results as a roadmap for continuous improvement.

She urged stakeholders to collaborate closely, share best practices, and uphold the highest security standards in the industry.

The debrief was attended by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, representing the Minister, and Captain Chris Najomo, Acting Director General of NCAA.

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Arik Air receives Best Sustainable Airline Company award



Arik Air has bagged the award for  Best Sustainable Airline of the Year,  2024 by the World Quality Alliance and Quality Standards Journal.

The airline’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, Mr Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Ola said the award was presented to the airline at the National Quality Summit 2024 held on March 22 in Abuja.

According to Ola, the Award General Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit, said the award was meant to celebrate leadership innovations and creativity in quality management.

Ola noted that Dr Ovie Shaka, Vice Chairman, Organising Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit Awards 2024, explained that the award was aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies.

“The award also aims at rewarding personalities and products that apply quality assurance culture and quality management best practices.”

He said the award was presented by Stanley Ohenhen, on behalf of the Organising Committee and received by Arik Air’s Director of Safety, Capt. Jide Bakare.

Ola quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as saying that the award is another testament of the airline’s fastidious adherence to operational safety standards.

Ilegbodu said Arik Air was committed to continual improvement of the management system and operational performance.

Recall that Arik Air also won the 2023  Best In-flight Service Airline by the Nigerian Aviation (NIGAV) Award.

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